Dama Agreement Adelaide

The Dama Agreement: Adelaide`s Solution to an Age-Old Problem

In recent years, the issue of water management has become increasingly important, as drought conditions have become more frequent and more severe. One solution to this problem is the Dama Agreement, a water-sharing agreement that has been implemented in Adelaide.

What is the Dama Agreement?

The Dama Agreement is a water-sharing agreement between the Ngarrindjeri Nation and the South Australian government. It was formed in 2013, after years of negotiation between the two parties. The agreement was named after the Ngarrindjeri word for water, dama.

Under the agreement, the Ngarrindjeri Nation has the right to use water from the Lower Lakes and Coorong region, which is an important ecosystem and cultural site for the Ngarrindjeri people. In exchange, they have agreed to support the government`s efforts to manage the water supply in the region.

Why is the agreement important?

The Dama Agreement is important for several reasons. First, it recognizes the rights of Indigenous people to access and manage natural resources. It also provides a framework for cooperation between the Ngarrindjeri Nation and the government, which can lead to more sustainable water management practices.

In addition, the agreement helps to address the issue of water scarcity in the region. By sharing the water resources, both parties can benefit from a more stable and secure water supply.

What are the challenges?

Despite its benefits, the Dama Agreement is not without its challenges. One of the biggest challenges is ensuring that the agreement is properly implemented and enforced. This requires ongoing communication and cooperation between the Ngarrindjeri Nation and the government.

Another challenge is the issue of water allocation. The agreement specifies how water is to be allocated between the Ngarrindjeri Nation and other users of the water supply, such as farmers and urban communities. However, there is always the potential for conflict over water allocation, especially during periods of drought when the supply is limited.


The Dama Agreement is an example of how water management can be achieved through cooperation and collaboration. By recognizing the rights of Indigenous people, it provides a framework for sustainable water management practices that benefit everyone. However, ongoing communication and cooperation are necessary to ensure that the agreement is properly implemented and enforced, and that all users of the water supply are treated fairly.